EVE Online developer CCP Games has an enviable relationship with its customers. Central to this is the Council of Stellar Management, an elected body of player-representatives who volunteer their time to work with CCP to maintain that close relationship and ensure that the interests and concerns of the players find their way to the right developers.
The election process for the 8th CSM is about to begin, with community representative CCP Dolan releasing a devblog today outlining the election schedule:
- 12-20 March: candidacy application period
- 22-29 March: Pre-Election
- 3-17 April: Announcement of final ballot and Election
- 27 April: Election result announcement (at Fanfest)
The CSM electoral system has long been under scrutiny and is seeing some major changes this year. The previous first past the post system is being replaced with more convoluted Single Transferable Vote (STV) system which will require players to select and prioritise 14 candidates. How this will be received by the player base and how it will play out will be interesting to watch, but many of the more dedicated CSM 8 candidates are already on the campaign trail.
Although the purpose and goals of the CSM are entirely transparent and exist outside of in-game rivalries, the nature of EVE Online’s competitive and political gameplay means that it is often mistakenly perceived as an extension of the metagame.
The CSM concept has grown since its inception in 2008 and was previously treated with skepticism by elements of CCP and the playerbase. In recent years, CSM contributions to EVE Online‘s development direction and expectation management have proven it to be a valuable gear in the New Eden machine.
The Council of Stellar Management will undoubtedly always remain controversial, but it is now considered a stakeholder and is perhaps part of the reason why EVE Online‘s health continues as it approaches its tenth year.
Header Image: eve.csm (CSM1 website)